Summary: In our text, I see two great sins of the godless: 1- They change God’s grace 2- They deny the Lord Jesus
INTRO.- ILL.- A church deacon was trying to impress a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. He said, "Why do people call me a Christian?" After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, "Maybe it’s because they don’t really know you."
Can a person be one way on the outside and different on the inside?
ILL.- Most of you remember very well the famous actor Rock Hudson. (1925 to 1985) He was only 59 years old when he died of AIDS related illness. On the surface, he was Mr. Nice Guy. He was the handsome, leading man in many movies. He was famous for the 1959 movie, "Pillow Talk," which also starred Doris Day and was a romantic comedy. And clean compared to movie standards today.
On the outside, Rock Hudson was a nice man. On the inside, lurked an evil that haunted his whole life.
ILL.- More recently, the Governor of New York, Elliott Spitzer, resigned in March of 2008 because of his involvement with prostitutes. Spitzer actually quoted scripture, saying, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected,” Mr. Spitzer said. “I have been given much: the love of my family, the faith and trust of the people of New York and the chance to lead this state. I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me.”
“Over the course of my public life, I have insisted — I believe correctly — that people regardless of their position or power take responsibility for their conduct,” he said. “I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor.”
The scandal erupted when allegations surfaced that the 48-year-old Spitzer spent thousands of dollars on a call girl at a swanky Washington hotel on the night before Valentine’s Day.
Governor Spitzer appeared to a strong family man with high moral standards, but on the inside lurked evil desires.
I believe that we all have a "dark" side to us, however, most of the time we keep it in check. And, of course, because we are in Christ we have help in life to do the better than others.
Matthew 23:25-28 25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."
Matthew 12:33-35 "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him."
This is somewhat scary, isn’t it? There are some good non-Christian people in our world, however, there are also some pretty bad non-Christian people in our world. Are there others who appear godly but are really godless?
PROP.- In our text, I see two great sins of the godless:
1- They change God’s grace
2- They deny the Lord Jesus
I. THEY CHANGE GOD’S GRACE
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality.
ILL.- A few years prior to the Gulf War, Barbara Walters filed a report on gender roles in Kuwait. In the report, Barbara noted that, in traditional Islamic fashion, women customarily walked approximately ten feet behind their husbands.
Barbara returned to Kuwait recently and observed that the men now walked several yards behind their wives.
Curious about this change in tradition, Barbara approached one of the Kuwati women and asked for an explanation.
"This is marvelous," Barbara said. "What has enabled women here to achieve this reversal of roles?" "Land mines!" replied the Kuwati woman.
Some changes may be necessary if we want to live. However, some changes in life may only make things worse. Some changes may kill us!
What, for example, is better about the church of today versus, say 40 to 50 years ago? We have better buildings. We have AC where in the past we didn’t. We used to sweat through a sermon and through a service. We have better facilities and better tools. We have more programs and hopefully, better programs today. Some may even say that we have better music with the contemporary style music, which obviously, reaches young people.